To support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike approximately 23 miles east of Beledweyne, Hiran Region, Somalia, on February 24, 2019.
“We continue to support our Somali partners, especially when their operations provide us opportunities to take the fight to Al Shabaab as an element of our partnered strategy,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “In the case of this strike, we interrupted an Al Shabaab attempt to mass their forces. Precision strikes eliminated a potential threat to our partners and to the people of Somalia well before the terrorists ever got themselves organized.”
This airstrike targeted armed al-Shabaab militants as they were transitioning between locations in a rural area. This precision airstrike is part of a larger effort to support the Somali National Army as it increases pressure on the terrorist network and its recruiting efforts in the region.
At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed 35 terrorists.
Also, at this time, it is assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.